Moorhead offers flood info online
MOORHEAD -- Big turnouts this week for Moorhead's first major flood meetings of the year proved people are thirsty for information. For those who couldn't make it to either meeting, the city provides residents with several avenues for getting the...
MOORHEAD -- Big turnouts this week for Moorhead's first major flood meetings of the year proved people are thirsty for information.
For those who couldn't make it to either meeting, the city provides residents with several avenues for getting their questions answered.
If Internet access is an issue, there's the flood call center at the city's engineering department, reachable by calling (218) 299-5300.
For residents with Internet access, the city's flood website offers a wealth of information for the curious, including an interactive page that shows how specific properties would be affected by a given river stage.
The flood website was born as the area was gearing up for the flood of 2010.
"What we did in January, February 2010 was reach out to a vendor -- Absolute Marketing (Group) in Moorhead -- to build this micro site that had an identifiable location and brand so that people knew right where to go," City Manager Michael Redlinger said.
The one-time cost for setting up the website last year was $20,335. The city now owns and maintains the site, which got a lot of attention during last year's flood, according to Redlinger.
"We had tens of thousands of hits last year. It was by far and away the most popular site visited on our domain for the month of March last year," said Redlinger, adding people visited the site in a variety of ways.
"Data from last year suggested many people were visiting the site routinely, both from mobile devices as well as desktop computers, laptops," Redlinger said.
So far this month, the city's flood website has received about 3,600 visits, or about 20 percent of the traffic to the city's website. The interactive river stage page alone has received about 2,700 visitors.
Need to find out information about your specific neighborhood, such as the city official designated as zone leader in your area?
It's on the website.
Want to see videos of public meetings dealing with flood preparation?
Click on the flood website's "site map" button at the bottom of the page and click on the videos link.
To reach the website directly, go to www.cityofmoorhead.com/flood/ , or visit the city's main website, www.cityofmoorhead.com and click on the yellow "flood information" symbol.
Redlinger said setting up the flood website last year required a one-time, modest expense.
"It was something we put together in about three weeks last year, when we were looking to do a higher level of flood information on the website," Redlinger said.
The interactive page showing how properties would be affected by river stages uses topographical and hydrological information from 2008, the most recent available.
That means flood protection measures built since the 2009 flood, things like floodwalls and higher levees, won't be reflected in the results displayed, said Brad Anderson, GIS manager for the city of Moorhead.
However, he added, a new survey of the area will be done this year and when that information has been collected, Moorhead's flood protection improvements will be figured into future interactive displays.
"We're going to show all the new levees, all the new floodwalls, all the new gates," Anderson said. "Right now, it basically shows: if we didn't do anything, this is what the river would do."
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